The main streets were looking pretty clear by Tuesday morning, but the trick is getting to them from snow-bound side streets
Just like the seemingly endless cycle of shoveling driveways, city plows have had to go over major streets multiple times over the past few days of snow.
“Overnight crews cleared 50 per cent of the category one streets and 26 per cent of the category two so we’re making some headway on the systematic plow and we’ll continue with that today and through until tomorrow night as well,” explained Chris Warren, manager of winter maintenance for the City of Regina.
For people with small cars who keep getting stuck on their residential streets, the good news is the plows are coming in a few days.
“If things go as planned we’ll be starting a residential plow on Thursday and that’s because we received accumulations greater than 25 centimetres,” Warren said. “Environment Canada is saying we got about 35 centimetres so quite a bit higher than what the thresholds are.”
The plan is to post schedules for clearing residential streets on the city website and through signs so people know when the plows are coming to their street. The residential plow will only happen on weekdays on the day-shift when more people are likely to be at work.
Warren added they have started a systematic plow of alleys to clear the way for garbage and recycling pickup and minimize disruption to regular schedules.
Snow routes were declared on Monday and the 24-hour parking bans went into effect Tuesday at 6 a.m. Any drivers parked on sections of Victoria Avenue, Winnipeg Street and College Avenue will be ticketed.
Warren said the plan is to clear those streets from gutter to gutter and push the snow into the parking lanes so anyone who fails to move their vehicles will have to go through the formal appeal process. When asked if drivers would be given any leeway considering the significant amount of snow, Warren said he’s confident people can get their cars out if they are stuck in those parking lanes.
“On some of the residential roads where we haven’t addressed any of that – that is a concern,” Warren commented. “But these are category one roads that are very high priority arterial roads where we’ve been effectively plowing them from the moment the snow started on Saturday so we’re pretty confident that the majority of people will be able to get out and get their cars moved.”
Warren said most of the vehicles parked on those snow routes were already gone by Monday.
When it comes to the cost of snow clearing for the city, Warren said a systematic plow of Category one, two, three and four streets is about $250,000 including paying for extra contractors during the first 48 hours. Clearing residential streets costs an additional $250,000. He said the most expensive part of clearing streets is to remove the snow.
“We will have to start that now but now we’re up against the clock, as we start to get this snow cleared and start snow removal we’re expecting to see temperatures increase so there’s going to be a balance we’re going to have to find between trying to get the snow removed and also trying to get these catch basins open so the water has somewhere to go when it starts to melt,” Warren said.
‘A safety concern:’ Residential streets fill with snow, vehicles
Residential streets were tossed into chaos during the snowfall, with snow collecting on many of the roadways.
Sarah Kozun lives in The Greens neighbourhood in Regina and said their streets are in dire need of a plow. She said her truck, which has 4X4, got stuck while she tried to leave her home Tuesday morning.
As the snow continues to fall she’s had to find rides to work because there’s a foot of snow on her street and her vehicle can’t get off her driveway.
On Monday night she said she had to help push out a SaskTel van which had gotten stuck in the roadway.
“It’s absolutely a safety concern, there’s an elderly couple that lives at the end of my street that sometimes uses the ambulance service and if they were to need it between Sunday and (Tuesday) they would probably not make it out,” Kozun said.
She said people were coming out of their homes to help push vehicles that couldn’t make it down the road but they couldn’t keep up with how many there were.
“There actually starting to clog up intersections and their getting stuck and people are just ending up parking where they’re parking and that’s also a danger.”
Another one of her concerns is the corner of Chuka Boulevard and Arcola Avenue, where she said three cars had gotten stuck.
“That’s a main intersection, there’s no reason why people should be getting stuck right in the middle of it.”
Garbage pickup affected by snow
Due to the snow on the residential streets, some waste collection was missed.
Garbage trucks were unable to drive into certain bays and cul-de-sacs to pick up carts.
If a person’s garbage or recycling was not collected, the City of Regina said they should call the city at 306-777-7000 or submit an online form. Requests can be made between 8 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.
Residents are then asked to move their bins onto their property near the roadway, which could include the corner of a driveway or edge of the lawn.
The city indicated crews would be around shortly to pick up the bins.
The city believes all missed collections will be resolved by Saturday.